Coworking spaces as the name suggests is a place where people come and work on projects together. It can be used by a small company with fewer employees or just a solo freelancer looking for a place to sit and work.
For India, coworking is a fairly new concept that is getting extremely popular day by day. The advent of coworking space has ushered in a change, a significant one to be precise. The boom in the realty sector speaks volumes about this trend, entrepreneurs and their ventures have not shied away from expressing their conformation.
A 2018 report by Small Business Labs forecasts strong growth in the shared working space segment, with as many as 189 coworking spaces opening around the world.
A big number of startups emerging every day need space to work and getting a normal office space in a metro city may cost a bomb that a startup can't afford. Also, there are many freelancers and solo workers that are increasing with the rise of the gig economy. But is coworking good for your company? Before one decides to work, it is more than an obligation to detail out the benefits of coworking spaces and their drawbacks to assist with the decision-making. It’s time to make note of some observations!
Benefits of Coworking Spaces
1. Networking Opportunities
When you are in the midst of various like-minded individuals seeking to disrupt the conventional setup, the chance of building a strong network increases multi-folds.
In these coworking spaces, there will be people with similar mindsets and interests that would allow user interactions that benefit the business. One might also get to meet people that are working on the same thing as them and might learn a few new things. One could even find potential business partners or investors in these places to build the business.
Interacting with people will not only bring knowledge but will also open new paths to success. Ask any businessman or top-level executive out there about what constitutes success in the industry in the long run and you’d hear one common ingredient—connections. That is why it is said your network is your net worth. To reap the benefits of a well-connected network by shifting to a coworking space.
2. Flexibility in leasing options
No need to end up on a five-year contract. To accommodate, the diverse wants that startups and organizations tend to ask for, coworking spaces providers offer a multitude of leasing plans. Pay on a monthly basis, daily basis, or why not maybe, on an hourly basis! Moreover, you always have an option to change if you didn't like it or are bored.
Foosball tables, billiards, gaming consoles form a small part of the perks associated with leasing a shared space. Lounge, chill-out areas are some attractions that entice startups into shifting their base to such a setup. If you were to set a relaxation room at your own cost, then the realization of receiving free perks would kick you hard!
4. Mentoring sessions
While this facility may not be available at all coworking places, a few which offer the same enable you to take advantage of mentoring sessions by industry veterans organized occasionally. Then there are the frequent training and development programs held at coworking spaces to further enhance knowledge about the art of pitching, securing funding, etc. And how can we forget about restaurants and cafes in close proximity?
5. Source of Creativity and Motivation
Homo Sapiens tend to be influenced by peers, either for the wrong or right reason. Coworking spaces give rise to the latter. In an office setting where everyone is working on out-of-the-box solutions, it’s in the pipeline to be impacted, in a positive way though. Others’ creativity and innovation ought to ignite the ingenuity lying dormant within oneself. This isn’t assured but there’s a strong possibility.
6. Flexible working hours
Most people do not want to work in an office because they have to work at a particular time. And they would like to work on their own time. Different people feel productive at different times of the day. Coworking spaces give you the freedom to choose work time. One can work and set schedules according to their will and comfort. This makes working more fun and builds productivity with the benefits of a coworking space.
7. Saves Money
For startups with a small team, Coworking spaces are fairly cheaper than a proper office space. One can pay less than half the rent that would usually be required to rent a full-fledged office. The best part is that space is already furnished, with all amenities; hence there won’t be a burden about getting the furniture and other equipment for setting up office space. This saves loads of money and becomes the key benefit of a coworking space.
If you have made up your mind to move to a coworking space we have made an exhaustive list of all popular coworking spaces operating across India.
Drawbacks of Coworking Spaces
1. Branding and Expansion
Once established, the organization/startup can no longer function with coworking spaces for an office. A full-fledged headquarter is needed in this case and in no way can a shared working area meet this requirement. As a matter of fact, the larger the corporate brand value, the larger the official premise.
2. Renovation restriction
The ambience may seem comforting initially, but gradually the eye would want to see something different. The extent of renovation permissible to members of such working areas is limited. And it’s well known that the ambience of a place is decisive in maintaining comfort level along with a good mood. Well then you know it's time to change the space and move to another one.
Do I need to actually elaborate on this? Working in a cluttered workspace with all kinds of commotion means productivity is sure to go down. Even a private cabin won’t do much good unless it is fitted with sound-absorbing walls. Sensitive information is also bound to be compromised in this setting, which means confidentiality and integrity are at high risk of being violated. Apart from privacy, Coworking spaces can become noisy and cause distractions.
4. Expensive per square foot
A 2015 Bloomberg report put forth the observation that per tenant, coworking spaces are more expensive than renting a single desk through some other means. Thus for an extremely small team, other cost-effective options need to be figured out. It is to be noted that coworking spaces are gradually bringing down this cost.
5. ‘Close’ Competition
Rivals under the same roof, and that in turn evokes a state of intense hostility. With various ventures in the same coworking space, there are chances that competitors previously unknown to each other, would end up in not so cordial rivalry. This could further trigger a chain of unwanted events accompanied by nothing but undesirable outcomes.
Mutual understanding among individuals is one of the most important thing to overcome the cons/drawbacks, thereby making coworking the path to the future of work.
In whatever country one resides, there are numerous workspaces that let one work at minimal pricing. So many of these can be selected according to your suitability and comfort. Having delineated the pros and cons of a coworking setting, it’s quite clear that such a way of functioning is a double-edged sword. Jump into the bandwagon keeping in mind the possible consequences that need not necessarily bring good news at all times.
Coworking spaces can be a blessing in disguise if you play your cards wisely and smartly. It all depends on your needs and requirements. The best option is to have an office set up in a coworking space if you have a small team.
Working from a coworking space can open many doors. It can help you save more money, use resources from coworking space, and help you network and connect with professionals in the same field as yours. As compared to having an own office space, coworking space is the wiser and better choice. Before proceeding glance at the benefits of coworking spaces and their drawbacks, analyze and evaluate your needs and then make a decision accordingly.
How does a coworking space work?
Coworking spaces are essentially shared workspaces. They offer affordable office space for those looking to escape the isolation of a home office or coffee shop. These shared workspaces offer a suite of office-like amenities such as hot desks, private meeting rooms, kitchens, coffee, and more.
Is a coworking space worth it?
Lower-cost memberships may also limit your access. If you can't use the space when you need to work, it doesn't make sense to pay for it. And if you travel a lot for your work, joining a coworking space might not be worth the money either. Privacy and storage concerns.
Why do coworking spaces work?
Having a shared space and creating a sense of community is another reason why people chose coworking spaces. Office in a coworking environment lets you surround yourself with goal-oriented and high-achieving professionals. Having so many professionals in one room means your networking opportunities are endless.
What makes a great coworking space?
A truly great coworking space, one that gets people talking, will provide its members with features that will enable their productivity and growth, make utilizing the space fast and seamless, and the community building effortless and enjoyable for everyone.
How do coworking spaces make money?
Coworking spaces earn the majority of their revenue, unsurprisingly, by renting out desks (61%). One in ten spaces earns all of their money from desk rental. The average space earns ten percent of its revenue from renting out meeting rooms and event spaces (10% each).